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US Retail Store Detectives: An Analysis of Their Focus, Selection and Training

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Dated: 2000 Pages: 7-20
Read Hayes
Date Published
14 pages
A survey of 40 retail companies examined the focus, selection, training, and performance evaluation of their store detectives.
The surveys were mailed in 3 waves to 110 retail companies selected from a proprietary list of 2,500 retailers. They were selected on the basis of the author’s personal knowledge or belief that they currently employed store detectives. Fourteen companies were eliminated from the survey due to consolidation in the retail industry. The 40 returned instruments represented a 42 percent response rate. Most retailers reported that they currently assign their store agents to patrol for shoplifters, to audit store asset protection initiatives, and to create loss prevention awareness among all store staff. In addition, companies select new store detectives primarily on ethical and decision making criteria. The use of force is the highest-ranked topic for training. Finally, more than 66 percent of the participants indicated that concerns about civil liability had caused them to change their training programs for store detectives. Tables and 24 reference notes (Author abstract modified)